AUGUSTIN DE BUTLER / PETER KROPMANNS
Alongside Monet, Bazille and Sisley, Pierre-Auguste Renoir laid the foundations of Impressionism in 1860s Paris. But acclaim for his painting was slow in coming, primarily because of the tribulations of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune, which put a hiatus on so much artistic activity during the 1860s-70s. As a result, the first two decades of Renoir's career are sometimes ignored, an oversight this superb volume decisively remedies. The artist's most important model during these years was his mistress, Lise Tréhot, with whom he was involved from 1865 to 1872. His depictions of Tréhot, in classic paintings such as "Woman in a Garden" and "En été" (both 1868), underscore the importance of Manet for the Impressionists in general, but also show Renoir infusing the older artist's somber palette with the warm, burnished glow for which he is beloved today, and exploring the looser handling of the brush so closely associated with the Impressionist movement. This volume also looks at Renoir's plein air landscape paintings and other portraits, such as those of his fellow Impressionists Frédéric Bazille and Claude Monet, altogether reproducing 250 works in full color. Revelatory and comprehensive, Between Bohemia and Bourgeoisie is the first extensive examination of the painter's early oeuvre and the importance of his close friendships with Bazille, Manet, Monet and Sisley.